Jul 27, 2012
SA welding skills stagnantBack
Engineering|Expertise|Africa|Education|Eskom|Gas|Pipe|Pipes|Projects|Safety|Sasol|SIH|Stainless Steel|Transnet|Welding|Africa|South Africa|Electricity Utility|Pipes|Steel|Synthetic Fuels|Transport|X-ray|Styles Hood|Pipe|New Brunswick|X-ray
© Reuse this
He adds that not many newly skilled welders are being trained, while existing welders have reached or are approaching retirement.
This will have an impact on large-scale capi- tal expansion projects, such as State-owned electricity utility Eskom’s new generation projects, as well as projects to be undertaken by synthetic fuels group Sasol and transport utility Transnet, which all require skilled welders.
“As a result of the low standard of training, the industry cannot meet the demand for skilled welders for major projects.
“Local training to produce skilled welders is lacking and further education and training (FET) colleges focus only on equipping learners with basic welding skills. These are obstacles facing the industry.”
He notes that this has resulted in South Africa importing the much-needed skills.
Hood states the industry needs coded or A-class welders, who have passed an X-ray test to verify the quality of their work. Before hiring new recruits, employers assess them by means of a weld they have to perform, after which a test is conducted with an X-ray to check the welding quality.
However, he says FET colleges and most training providers do not require learners to pass X-ray tests to complete their studies and that this contributes to the reluctance of employers to hire newly trained welders because they are not confident that the candidate has the required skills.
“The X-ray test is conducted in accordance with international standards, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) IX code and European EN 287 standard, which govern the coding of welders.
“If a candidate welds a test piece, which is X-ray tested and approved, he then becomes an ASME IX- or EN 287-coded welder,” explains Hood.
To increase the number of skilled welders in South Africa, he suggests more focus should be placed on properly training welders instead of teaching them only the basic skills.
He believes learners should gain practical experience by working on the new capital expansion projects that are in progress.
The organisation certifies all learners to ASME IX standards on both 50 nominal bore (NB) and 150 NB carbon steel pipes in a 5G horizontal position.
In a 5G position, the axis of the pipe is hori- zontal and the pipe is not turned or rolled during the welding operation.
Included in the programme is shield metal arc welding (SMAW) in all positions, tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding on plate and in all posi- tions, TIG welding on pipe up to a 5G position, as well as combined TIG welding and SMAW on pipe, also up to a 5G position.
SIH approaches employers in the industry to assist learners in securing apprenticeships that will reinforce the skills and knowledge they acquire through training.
The three-month course also comprises health and safety training and explains welding drawings, symbols, codes and specifications that govern welding.
The identification of weld joints, as well as defects and how to rectify these are also taught at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level two.
The SMAW and TIG processes are taught at NQF level three.
SIH has three assessors and five facilitators, as well as the capacity to train 120 learners a year on the three-month programme at its training centre in Sasolburg.
“We also offer a six-month full-time practical training programme, which enables a novice to progress to being a coded welder on 12 NB, 50 NB and 150 NB carbon steel pipes in a 6G position (45º angle).
“This programme is directed more at employers that want to train their staff and there is a higher cost involved. We also develop specific programmes to suit our customers’ process requirements and will code the learners according to their process specification, such as welding stainless steel, chrome alloys and aluminium,” says Hood.
SIH is accredited by the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Welding and Cutting News
African Oxygen Limited (Afrox) is sub-Saharan Africa’s leading supplier of gases, welding and safety products, employing 3 000 people and operating in South Africa and 11 other African countries. It manages operations in five more countries on behalf of its parent...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...